first_imgWBA (4-3-2-1)MYHILL,DAWSON, McAULEY, OLSSON, EVANS,FLETCHER, SANDRO, GARDNER,SESSEGNON, McCLEAN,ANICHEBEMAN UTD (4-2-3-1)RASHFORD,DEPAY, MATA,LINGARD,HERRERA,SCHNEIDERLIN,ROJO, BLIND,CARRICK, VARELA,DE GEAWith none of their rivals winning in midweek and only Leicester City of the top four getting a point, Manchester United’s 1-0 win over Watford took them level on 47 points with rivals Manchester City, in fifth place and now with the chance to finish in the Champions League places.Juan Mata’s goal late on at Old Trafford gave United their fourth straight win in all competitions. After this game at The Hawthorns they face Premier League rivals Liverpool in the Europa League.They visit West Bromwich Albion who are unbeaten in their last three league games, taking seven points from a possible nine, with the draw at league leaders Leicester City on Tuesday taking them into 13th place, 12 points clear of the relegation zone.When the teams met at Old Trafford earlier this season, United won 2-0 with goals from Jesse Lingard and a Mata penalty after Albion’s Gareth McAuley was dismissed.United’s record at The Hawthorns is good; in nine Premier League visits they are unbeaten, winning seven and drawing two including Sir Alex Ferguson’s last ever game in charge, the 5-5 stalemate in May 2013. Albion last beat United at home in 1984 in the old First Division.Albion are without Claudio Yacob, who is banned after collecting a 10th yellow card of the season at Leicester. Chris Brunt remains on the sidelines while Jonny Evans is a doubt and there are tests for Callum McManaman and James Morrison.United, meanwhile, test Cameron Borthwick-Jackson, Marouane Fellaini, Phil Jones and Chris Smalling while Wayne Rooney, Luke Shaw and Bastian Schweinsteiger are still absent.last_img read more

Combined team duo strike gold in Vancouver

first_imgACKEEM LAWRENCE and Richard Stone recently returned home with gold medals in sparring from the North American and Caribbean International Taekwon-Do Federation Championships, held at Richmond Olympic Oval, Greater Vancouver, Canada.The pair closed the Jamaica combined martial arts team’s 2015 season on a golden note while achieving personal goals ahead of the new year.Lawrence, normally a microweight fighter, moved up to lightweight – 63 kilos – and was impressive in seeing off Canadian Josh Dumoulin 4-0 in the final.Stone, fighting as a black belt in his first major international outside the US Open, also beat a Canadian, Jeff Stoffregen, 3-1, in the heavyweight division.Master Claude Chin said Lawrence performed as expected, whereas for Stone, it was a good experience as a new black belt.”Ackeem, I knew could have done it, based on his performance at the World Championships in Italy in May. He made the quarter-finals of successive World Championships and was really looking forward to this competition,” Chin pointed out.”Stone, because this was his first big international apart from the US Open, normally fights as a light heavyweight, – 78 kilos; however, I moved him up to 85 because of his speed. He is faster than the heavyweights.”He totally dominated his first fight. In the semis, it was a bit tougher. In the last fight, he had to pull out all the stops. He proved that with training, there is room for more improvement. He got his black belt last year,” Chin added.Lawrence had two bouts to the final, winning each 4-0 before getting past Canadian Jeff Turchyn in the semis. Fireworks were initially expected in the division as Lawrence had seemed destined to meet former world champion Julio Carlos, but the American moved up to middleweight and duly took that crown.Stone won his quarter-final bout 4-0 against Canada’s Victor Liu. He swept Jason Strandberg 4-0 in the semis before taking gold against Stoffregen.last_img read more

Olympians group hosts sendoff for Asian Games team

first_imgGov’t in no rush to rescue animals in Taal A Go-getter for Gilas DepEd’s Taal challenge: 30K students displaced Lights inside SMX hall flicker as Duterte rants vs Ayala, Pangilinan anew In fight vs corruption, Duterte now points to Ayala, MVP companies as ‘big fish’ ‘High crimes and misdemeanors’: Trump impeachment trial begins When Olympic silver medalist Hidilyn Diaz and Asian jiujitsu champion Annie Ramirez compete in the coming Asian Games, they will carry with them the words of wisdom imparted by Philippine Olympians Association president Akiko Thomson-Guevara.“Your life as an athlete is really short, it’s finite, and you’ll appreciate it so much more when you’re done,” Thomson-Guevara told the Asian Games-bound athletes during the POA’s sendoff on Thursday at Manila Golf and Country Club in Forbes Park.ADVERTISEMENT Meanwhile, soft tennis is going all out to score its first ever Asian Games gold later this month in Jakarta.The Philippine team, led by team captain Bien Zoleta-Manalac, is currently in South Korea for its 17-day training camp in three cities where they are pitted against different club teams.“Our team is in high spirits and has been in the best condition since the first phase in Busan,” said Manalac, who bagged bronze in the 2015 World Championships in India and 2016 Asian Championships in Japan.The team, which left the country on Aug. 1, played against the Golden Blue soft tennis men’s team in Busan before going to Suncheon and Sunchang cities.“Techniques, game tips and needed skills as well as match plays were given to our national team to improve our game further,” added Manalac. ADVERTISEMENT LATEST STORIES Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Palace OKs total deployment ban on Kuwait OFWs Judy Ann’s 1st project for 2020 is giving her a ‘stomachache’ MOST READ “I just want to encourage you all to make the most out of it now that you’re in your prime. We hope and pray that you give your best and bring honor to the country,” said the three-time Olympian, who made huge waves for the country in swimming during her prime.Besides weightlifting heroine Diaz and Ramirez, taekwondo jins Samuel Morrison, Jenar Torillo and Arven Alcantara graced the affair as well as two-time Olympian swimmer Jasmine Alkhaldi, decathlete Aris Toledo, triple jumper Harry Diones and jiujitsu fighter Jan Cortez.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSGinebra beats Meralco again to capture PBA Governors’ Cup titleSPORTSAfter winning title, time for LA Tenorio to give back to Batangas folkSPORTSTim Cone still willing to coach Gilas but admits decision won’t be ‘simple yes or no’They are part of the delegation that will see action during the Asiad in Indonesia from Aug. 18 to Sept. 2.“When one wears a uniform of your country, it is not like being an Atenean or La Sallian or whatever school you are representing,” said POA chair Paeng Hechanova. “It means much more than that because you represent 100 million Filipinos.” Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard PLAY LIST 02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite03:23Negosyo sa Tagaytay City, bagsak sa pag-aalboroto ng Bulkang Taal01:13Christian Standhardinger wins PBA Best Player award Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. View comments Nadine Lustre’s phone stolen in Brazil Peza offers relief to ecozone firmslast_img read more

Rose Hall Mayor accuses Communities Ministry of neglect

first_imgRose Hall Mayor Vijay Kumar Ramoo is accusing Communities Minister Ronald Bulkan of neglecting villages, which did not vote for the current Administration even as Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo criticised Government for its lack of help to municipalities, which were won by the People’s Progressive Party (PPP) at the last Local Government Elections.Addressing residents of the town on Sunday during a public meeting, Mayor Ramoo said in 2017, President David Granger requested that the municipality submit a developmental plan. He said the proposal was passed onto the Communities Ministry.“The Ministry of Communities replied saying it can’t help us,” the Mayor said.According to Ramoo, prior to the response from the Ministry, the municipality of Georgetown was bailed out by the Communities Ministry.“I few months after they reply to us they bail out Georgetown again… They could bail out Georgetown for $57 million but they can’t give Rose Hall a cent. We have run this town without any help from Central Government.”He added that as Mayor he has given up his stipend and asked the Town Clerk to use it to repair the Council’s tractors which are used for garbage collection.“Every six months we repair one tractor.”Ramroo also noted that under his stewardship, property taxes will not be increased.However, Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo noted that in the areas that the PPP won, property taxes will not be increased as it a policy of the party.Jagdeo noted that the Government spent $10 million to fly into Mahdia for the opening of that township and has refused to assist the town of Rose Hall.last_img read more

Fort St John ranks 31st for Canada’s Most Dangerous Places

first_imgAccording to MacLean’s, the rankings are based on Statistics Canada’s Crime Severity Index which looks at the volume and severity of crime against national averages over the last five years. Advertisement When it comes to overall crime, Fort St. John ranks 31st when compared to the total of 237 cities that were included in the list. This ranking is up from 33rd place in the 2019 list. – Advertisement -For overall crime in neighbouring Northeastern B.C. cities, Dawson Creek places 13th, with Prince George sitting at 14th place. FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – MacLean’s Magazine has released its list for Canada’s Most Dangerous Places for 2020. For violent crime, Dawson Creek sits at 24th place while Prince George ranks 19th. For violent crime, Fort St. John ranks in 18th place, which is up from 36th place one year ago. The full list can be found at macleans.ca.last_img read more

CONFIRMED! Bournemouth sign Manchester United and Arsenal target

first_img1 Ipswich Town star Tyrone Mings Bournemouth have signed defender Tyrone Mings from Ipswich on a four-year deal, the Premier League club have announced .The young defender, who was linked with moves to Manchester United and Arsenal, has put pen to paper on a four-year contract with the Cherries.Mings, 22, makes an £8million move to the Premier League just two years after joining the Tractor Boys from Chippenham Town for £10,000.And he’s revealed he can’t wait to learn from new boss Eddie Howe: “I’m looking forward to learning from the manager’s ideas,” he told Cherries Player.“They will be different to what I’m used to but that can only be a good thing.“I’m here to develop and learn as much as possible.“The team’s style was different to anyone else’s in the league.“That probably goes back to how in-depth the manager is with everything he does and the group of players he has.“They can pull off what he wants them to do – they are well organised and play good football as everyone saw last season.“The manager has spoken to me about it and it may be a culture shock to what I was used to.“It wasn’t as easy on the eye I guess, but I worked over 46 games and got Ipswich into the play-offs.“To learn off Eddie and Jason though is something I’m really looking forward to.”last_img read more

Food drive kicks off season of giving

first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREGame Center: Chargers at Kansas City Chiefs, Sunday, 10 a.m.The formal committee was established in the 1970s, and money and donations are collected year-round for the event. The committee even operates a small thrift store at 5018 Passons Blvd., which is open from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays. Now, the group gives away far more than 20 boxes of food each year. Saturday’s event, along with proceeds collected throughout the year, will raise enough money and supplies for at least 850 boxes of food, assisting between 2,000 and 3,000 people. Navarro said the group will have more food than needed for those who come forward to be given a box, which includes canned goods, fresh foods donated by charities, toys for children age 11 or younger and a Christmas ham. Committee President Virginia Geary said she enjoys her volunteer work, which includes supervising the thrift store all year, organizing Trick or Treat for Hunger and assembling and distributing baskets. In Pico Rivera, Christmas giving starts with Halloween tradition. The Pico Rivera Christmas Basket Committee kicked off its yearly food drive Saturday with the 11th annual Trick or Treat for Hunger Day, an event designed to get residents to donate canned goods and non-perishables without even leaving home. “We always have a lot of food,” committee Chairwoman Mary Lou Navarro said. “We’re still collecting. I got three calls today that food didn’t get picked up.” Last Saturday, Pico Rivera residents left bags or boxes of food on their doorsteps for volunteers to collect. Gathering boxes of food for needy Pico Rivera families began in 1950, when a handful of women put together about 20 boxes in an effort to make Christmas brighter for the poor. “I had just retired not too long before I got started,” Geary said. “I like working with the needy. I really believe in doing this.” To Geary, the thrift store itself is able to help the community. “We help the homeless,” Geary said. “We help the people who walk in for warm clothes. It’s very rewarding.” According to Geary, most of the committee’s 23 members are past retirement, and are becoming too old to lift the heavy boxes they give away each year. “To me it seems that we’ve gotten to the point that if we don’t get new people in here, we could fold up, and I don’t want to let this go,” Geary said. El Rancho High School students who helped collect food on Saturday were treated to pizza, soda, burritos and dessert when they returned to Smith Park with their bags and boxes, and Pico Rivera City Councilman Bob Archuleta spoke about the importance of volunteerism. “It was a great time for the kids in the community to come together and extend a sincere feeling of giving,” Archuleta said. To volunteer with the committee or to make a donation, call Navarro at (562)942-7857. airan.scruby@sgvn.com (562) 698-0955, Ext. 3029 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more


first_imgBrendan Boyle and dad Frank on a visit home to GlenTHE son of a County Donegal man who is running for Congress has spoken of his love for the county of his father’s birth.Brendan F. Boyle is already a Democratic member of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives.At the weekend we revealed that his father Frank is a native Irish speaker from Glencolmcille who left Ireland in 1970 aged 19. Son Brendan is the state representative from the 170th District, which covers parts of Northeast Philadelphia and Montgomery County. His brother Kevin also serves Pennsylvania, following in his brother’s footsteps in 2010 – to become the first brothers to serve together in the state legislature.And you know Brendan hasn’t lost his connections to here when he calls Glencolmcille…Glen!Brendan told Donegal Daily: “I’ve been to Donegal many times. I think it’s one of the most beautiful places in the world. Of course, I guess I am a bit biased.“My brother Kevin, who is also an elected official in the state House, decided to have his wedding in Donegal in 2011. It was a wonderful time.” Their father Frank works as a janitor on the state’s transport system – and goes out canvassing for his son in the evenings.The working class rooted family are having to face-off against the wealth of the Clintons in the campaign (that’s former President Bill!)Wealthy Marjorie Margolies (71), is also running for the seat – she is Chelsea Clinton’s mother-in-law! ‘MY LOVE FOR DONEGAL’ BY POLITICIAN RUNNING FOR US CONGRESS was last modified: April 21st, 2014 by John2Share this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:Brendan F BoyleGlencolmcilleHouse of RepresentativesUS COngreslast_img read more

The weevil that saved the delta

first_imgFishermen in their mokoro boats..(Image: Wikimedia) Boats on the Hawkesbury River in NewSouth Wales, Australia, are completelysurrounded by the aquatic pest..(Image: Australian Weed Management) Cyrtobagous salviniae is set to save theOkavango delta from the invasive S. molesta.(Image: Scott Bauer, USDA AgriculturalResearch Service) MEDIA CONTACTS • Geof Khwarae, BiokavangoH. Oppenheimer Okavango Research Centre+ 267 681 7200 or  267  686 1833RELATED ARTICLES• Science university for Botswana• Botswana revives ostrich farming• Biggest nature park in the worldJanine ErasmusThe spectacular Okavango Delta in Botswana is under threat from a prolific South American weed, but a tiny Brazilian weevil that feasts on the invader is helping bring it under control.Salvinia molesta, a kind of water fern, grows so quickly that under favourable conditions it can double its dry weight every two to three days. The leafy pest has struck in many parts of the world, including Australia, the Pacific, Southeast Asia and other parts of Africa. Once entrenched, it’s very difficult to eradicate.S. molesta, also known as Kariba weed because it infested much of the Kariba dam in Zimbabwe in the 1960s and posed a serious threat to the dam’s hydroelectric plant, does not root itself in the substrate. Instead, it forms free-floating colonies of rhizomes, roots and leaves that form dense colonies.These mats of vegetation can be up to 1m thick and cause major obstructions to water traffic, as well as depriving fish of much-needed oxygen. Salvinia is also a serious health hazard as the dense blankets of growth are an ideal haven for disease-carrying mosquitoes. Livestock and toddlers have also been known to become entangled in it.In the Okavango, fishermen’s livelihoods are affected as well as tourism, as the punt-like local boats known as mokoro and other craft are unable to navigate the waterways.This is a critical problem as every year tourists flock to the delta’s many luxurious lodges or houseboats. Many regard travelling through the Okavango on elephant-back as the ultimate experience.Scientists believe the weed made its way into the delta along the many rivers that flow southwards from the Angolan highlands and join along the way to eventually become the mighty Okavango river.The not-so-evil weevilFortunately there is an effective biological control for the pest. The weevil, Cyrtobagous salviniae, a tiny 2mm-long insect, can keep salvinia at bay.“Spectacular results have been obtained in parts of Australia and it seems likely that they will be repeated elsewhere,” said a report on the website of Pacific Island Ecosystems at Risk. “Similar results have followed the release of the weevil in Papua New Guinea, India and Namibia.”This method is also highly successful in South Africa, where early summer outbreaks are usually tamed by midsummer once the weevils have been released. The deadly little creatures have been used to great effect in at least 13 countries.C. salviniae, like the weed, hails from Brazil and is host-specific, meaning that it feeds exclusively on the fast-growing plant. Adult weevils munch on the tender buds and leaves at the tips of the plant, suppressing growth of new shoots, while the larvae make inroads into the rhizomes. Eventually bored holes fill up with water, and the salvinia mat turns brown and begins to sink.Weevils are more effective than other methods of control. These include manual removal, which often fails as the plant can outgrow attempts to remove it, and chemical intervention. The problem here is that herbicides put other plant species at risk, and have to be applied regularly.C. salviniae came to Africa in 1983, when it was used in Namibia’s Caprivi region. In heavily infested or cooler areas, control may take up to three years, but often it takes less than 12 months for the busy weevils to do their work.Team effortThe eradication plan will be most successful in the delta if local communities and tourism operators join forces.With expert help, locals and representatives from the tourism sector are learning to correctly identify the weed and breed the insects, which live for just 60 days, then release them into the waters of the Okavango. They are also asked to monitor and keep records of their salvinia control efforts.Training falls under the Biokavango initiative, a five-year biodiversity conservation project funded by the Global Environment Facility, the government of Botswana, non-governmental donors, and tourism operators. It is implemented through the UN Development Programme country office in collaboration with Botswana University’s Harry Oppenheimer Okavango Research Centre, based in Maun in the southeast of the delta.“It is now up to the communities and tour operators to make sure that they work hard in breeding the weevils,” said Ministry of Tourism, Wildlife and Environment representative Steve Monna.The research centre reports that one of the delta’s major hospitality drawcards, the lavish Sandibe lodge, part of the &Beyond group, has even set up an “adopt a weevil” campaign.With guidance from Biokavango and the Botswana Department of Water Affairs, Sandibe is running a pilot weevil breeding and distribution programme. The weevil adoption scheme encourages visitors to donate towards the company’s salvinia control programme, run with the help of local communities.Chair of the Okavango Fishermen’s Association, Faosiko Wake, summed up the situation: “Fishing is a source of income for most of us in this part of Botswana, and if it means working day and night to destroy this weed which is threatening our fish, then let it be so.”Biodiversity havenThe spectacular Okavango, the world’s largest inland delta, has its source far to the west in the highlands of central Angola. Here numerous tributaries join to form the Cubango river, which crosses into Namibia and is known as the Kavango, before finally flowing into Botswana, where it is known as the Okavango.Millions of years ago the Okavango River flowed into a vast inland lake known as Makgadikgadi, which survives today in the form of the Makgadikgadi salt pans, lying to the southeast of the Okavango.Over many years geological forces altered the river’s flow and the dammed-up waters became the Okavango delta, an intricate network of waterways in the middle of the Kahalari desert.Summer rains in Angola are responsible for feeding the delta. Although the rainy season starts in October, the waters take many months to arrive in the Okavango, only reaching the delta the following July. This is because the river’s course varies little in elevation, dropping only 60m over the entire 450km distance.Reports put the volume of water entering the Okavango every year at a mind-boggling 11-trillion litres. At the peak of the annual floods, which are gentle, the delta can cover an area of around 16 000 square kilometres, but in the dry period it spans just 9 000 square kilometres.As the waters rise, wildlife of all kinds moves into the area. Lion, hyena, zebra, Nile crocodile, elephant, buffalo, wild dogs, and lechwe and sitatunga antelope are just a few of the diverse species found in the delta’s channels.The complexity of the Okavango’s ecosystem and the sheer diversity of its fish, birds, and animals attract research biologists, zoologists, botanists and other experts from all over the world.last_img read more

‘Young people will determine the fate of South Africa’

first_imgLaunching the seventh African Population Conference on Tuesday 18 November, South Africa’s minister of social development Bathabile Dlamini discussed the UN’s new State of the World’s Population Report, and said the country’s predominantly youthful population had the potential to spur economic growth and social change. Read the full text of her speech.“Those aged 15 to 35 years, which we define as youth, comprise almost 40% of the total population,” said Bathabile Dlamini. “The youth are also the fastest growing age group in the country, and have in recent years continued to grow as a proportion of the total population.” (Image: Brand South Africa)It is both an honour and pleasure to be part of this historic launch of the 2014 State of the World Population Report with the theme: “The power of 1.8 billion: adolescents, youth and the transformation of the future”.I do take this opportunity to applaud the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) for the 2014 State of the World Population Report, as it provides the latest trends and statistics on adolescent and youth populations worldwide which then gives us an opportunity to reflect on ourselves as South Africa, how we are doing compared to the rest of the globe concerning the issues contained in this report regarding young people. Adolescents and youth were also emphasised on the two previous State of the World Population Reports, which tells how important this segment of the population is.It is encouraging to see the presence of young people again at this year’s launch; this truly reflects the commitment and dedication by young people to actively engage and participate in decision-making processes that will shape their future. To the youth present today, your participation is highly appreciated.I regard this year’s theme, the power of 1.8-billion, significant as it addresses one of the key issues that are pertinent to our own South African situation. Youth development is a key priority for the current administration.This launch also coincides with South Africa’s celebration of 20 years of freedom and democracy. It presents an opportunity for us to reflect on the progress we have made in the past 20 years as a country in improving and investing in the lives of young people and more also how South Africans can work together to implement the Vision 2030 of the National Development Plan.The mid-year population estimates by Statistics South Africa (StatsSA) show that South Africa still has a relatively young population, where two thirds of the population is younger than 35 years old. Those aged 15 to 35 years, which we define as youth, comprise almost 40% of the total population. The youth are also the fastest growing age group in the country, and have in recent years continued to grow as a proportion of the total population.This trend creates the prospect for a so-called “demographic dividend”, in which resources can be invested into activities that promote social and economic development, and growth.The 2014 State of the World Population Report is significant as it raises a number of key issues regarding youth that are pertinent to our own South African situation. These include:Economic participation and the challenge unemploymentEducation, skills development and trainingPovertyThe digital divideAccess to sexual and reproductive health and rights, including HIV and AidsPower imbalancesGender InequalityViolenceSystems and institutions to protect young people’s rightsGiven the predominantly youthful global population, the 2014 State of the World Population Report strongly advocates for investment in young people. This means that young people are going to determine the fate of this country. These are the people who will be instrumental in building this country towards prosperity but only if we invest in their education, in their health including sexual and reproductive health and rights, recognise the importance of their involvement in planning processes and make sure that they are given equal opportunities to develop to their full potential.This point is emphasised by South Africa’s Vision 2030 for the NDP, which states: “The extent to which South Africa can take advantage of its demographic profile will depend on whether it is able to prioritise policies that improve the capabilities and life chances of its large youthful population”.These issues were also identified as pertinent in the twenty year progress review of the implementation of the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) Programme of Action in our country.South Africa, like most countries is also grappling with the challenge of youth unemployment. Youth unemployment in South Africa is estimated to be 36.1%, which is significantly higher than adult unemployment at 15.6%. From the scant data that is available on youth with disabilities, they are by far the hardest hit by unemployment. Among this group unemployment is high at 87% between those aged 20-24 years and 79% between those aged 25-29 years.The government has recognised the problem of poor economic participation of young people and has put in place numerous policy interventions geared towards bringing youth into the mainstream of the economy to enhance social inclusion and cohesion.Through the National Treasury and Department of Labour, we introduced youth unemployment policy options for South Africa with the aim of incentivising entities to employ young people.The Department of Economic Development has introduced a short-to-medium term multi-pronged strategy that aims to propose interventions that provide young people with income and opportunities, and encourages community service and engagements around targeted programmes to enable entry into the economic mainstream. The NYDA has provided the Integrated Youth Development Strategy (IYDS) with the key mandate of implementing interventions geared towards the economic participation of young people, namely, youth work, national youth services, and education and skills relevant to economic empowerment.The government is striving to provide an opportunity to raise the share of youth owned businesses and to support youth to engage in cooperatives in the country. Social entrepreneurship is another area that needs exploration in the South African context. It may be very useful for the youth development sector to explore and harness this approach in the quest for increasing entrepreneurship amongst the youth, especially those in rural areas.The NDP is very clear about the need for skills development in promoting economic growth and reaching related goals. It says: “South Africa has set itself the goals of eradicating poverty, reducing inequality, growing the economy by an average of 5.4%, and cutting the unemployment rate to 6% by 2030. Education, training and innovation are critical to the attainment of these goals.”We have done well over the past 20 years to ensure that practically all children who should be in primary school are there. This pattern continues in the early grades of high school. Unfortunately a significant proportion of each age cohort does not complete all twelve grades at school, and pass matric. We have seen gradual improvements in this regard in recent years. To refer back to youth unemployment: lower educational attainment correlates directly with unemployment. Collectively, the government, young people, parents, civil society, the private sector and all other stakeholders must try to ensure that our youth optimally use the educational opportunities that are at their disposal.I also want to emphasise the need to promote gender equity, equality and the empowerment of girls and young women in all aspects of youth development, and the need to eliminate discrimination against them, including the critical role of boys and young men in ensuring gender equality.Data on youth sexualityData shows that there are:Higher levels of sexual activity among male adolescentsSignificant percentages of sexually active adolescent below the age of 16Increasing trends of multiple concurrent sexual relationsIncreasing trends of Intergenerational Sexual relations (where a partner age is typically five years older)High level of substance abuse (alcohol and drugs) especially among school-going youthLow levels of consistent condom use during sexTeenage fertility has been decreasing in South Africa, albeit the number is still high. Many young people still seek the services from those who practice backstreet abortions. This has resulted in additional risks and deaths associated with unsafe termination of pregnancy in young women.Pregnancy and childbirth therefore continue to involve significant health risks for young women in South Africa, resulting in a persistent high rate of maternal mortality among young women. The fact that there are still high rates of new HIV infections among young women aged 15 to 24 years is troubling and calls on us to address the associated social factors such as age-differential relationships.The sexual and reproductive needs and rights of young people with disabilities have often been overlooked. A number of studies have revealed that access to health services and HIV counselling and testing is problematic for people with disabilities because of the long distances to local clinics and public transport is often not disability friendly. The attitude of the health workers is often cited as a barrier to accessing sexual and reproductive health services for people with disabilities.South Africa has developed several national health and related policy guideline to promote youth health and well-being. Generally, the current generation of young people in South Africa are more aware about the health risks involved in their choices about sexual and reproductive health and rights and behave differently to their earlier counterparts.Chairperson, whilst we have made strides in sexual and reproductive health service delivery to our youth, through our constitutionally entrenched rights-based framework, we have also come to an understanding that the sexual and reproductive health of young women cannot be attained through the services that are delivered inside health facilities only. Social, economic and cultural factors, including education, employment, gender relations all shape the options and choices that are available for young women.The State of the World’s Population Report 2014 provides us with the insight to realise that the pillars of youth development do not stand alone and independent of each other. It also provides us with the direction on how to integrate these pillars, in order to achieve complete and holistic development outcomes for and with our youth and adolescents.We know that our country’s prospects for development and prosperity are inextricably linked to that of Africa. We know that we can only sustainably reap the demographic dividend in the country when it becomes a reality for the whole continent. I therefore wish to welcome the opportunity that we shall have to host the seventh African Population Conference next year.The conference will serve as a vehicle to continue our discourse on the demographic dividend, and moreover because it will broaden the discourse for the whole of Africa, with the involvement of the continent’s top population scientists, scholars and hopefully many students.I would like to express our gratitude to the United Nations Population Fund for their continued technical and financial support to our population and development programmes over the years. I trust that this report will serve as a valuable resource in influencing decision making regarding development planning and implementation of government programmes.In conclusion ladies and gentlemen, it is a great pleasure to declare the State of the World’s Population Report launched in South Africa, and in the same breath, to also declare the seventh African Population Conference as officially launched.I thank you.last_img read more